Poison ivy is found all over the United States – especially east of the Rockies and in Canada. The symptoms of contact dermatitis, the itchy rash that results from the skin’s exposure to poison ivy, take at least three weeks to completely disappear. Follow these steps to make yourself a little more comfortable.

1. Immediately wash everything that might have touched the plant. You may be able to remove the offending oil completely or at least reduce the impending rash.

2. Soothe itching with cool, wet compresses & add approximately 5 c. ground oatmeal or baking soda to a cool bath and soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Add baking soda or Epsom salts to your bath, or make a paste of either of these and apply it to the rash.

4. Opt for lotions containing calamine, alcohol and zinc acetate; these will dry the blisters and help speed healing & leave the rash open to air. That will help it heal.

5. Talk to your doctor about taking an oral antihistamine if you are extremely uncomfortable or if the rash is covering a large area of your body.

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